There’s something uniquely special about the Porsche Turbo. A car that took the 911 into a new stratosphere when launched in 1975, it gave genuine supercar credentials to Zuffenhausen’s sports car icon with its bulging bodywork and explosive performance. The appeal of the Turbo since has been everlasting. Launched amid a global oil crisis it nevertheless flourished, becoming a symbol of excess by the mid-1980s and surviving prolonged exclusion from the United States and Japanese markets in the process.
Now in its fourth decade of continuous production, the Turbo has also proved it’s still relevant today, beating away another existential threat, this time from within Porsche. 2015 saw the entire 911 Carrera range follow the Turbo’s suit by adopting forced induction: no longer a unique chapter of the 911 dynasty, many predicted used Turbo values would fall as a result. As it happened they held firm, at a time when prices of nearly every naturally aspirated 911 took a tumble instead.
The Turbo’s future, however, remains challenging. Aside from ever-stringent emissions regulations which Porsche must somehow ensure it adheres to, there’s a greater societal threat as the concept of a gas-guzzling performance car looks increasingly at odds with the automotive industry’s dash towards e-mobility.
Porsche will attempt to combat this with hybrid technology. You can expect to see a Turbo S e-hybrid at some stage of the incoming 992 generation’s lifespan, though this is a temporary fix. Looking further into the future the stark reality is with fully electric vehicles legislating their way onto our roads, a 911 Turbo surely cannot survive.
But that’s for another day: in this moment we intend to celebrate the Turbo with a look at some of its most remarkable offerings, from 930 to 991, with some Ruf madness thrown in to boot. Long live the 911 Turbo!
“The appeal of the Turbo has been everlasting”